Hotel chocolat Christmas gifts review and a giveaway

This giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who took part.

When I was asked to take part in Hotel chocolat’s christmas blogger campaign I was thrilled. They very kindly sent me their Christmas collection gift bag to review which is part of their fabulous selection of christmas gifts. Not only that but they are giving me the opportunity to give one lucky reader the same gift bag too.

The Christmas collection gift bag includes the Classic Christmas Sleekster Selection, Christmas Gift Slab with milk chocolate and dark cookie pieces, Gingerbread Truffles and Orange Nice Spice Puddles. Over the last couple of weeks myself and my husband have tested these chocolates and here’s what we thought of them. Continue reading

Pieminister cookbook review & giveaway

I’m a great believer in healthy eating but I also believe that balance diet should include treats and less healthy options. It’s not about what you eat in a day but what you eat in a week. Life would be very boring/difficult if we didn’t indulge in the occasional treat etc. With this concept in mind I took up the offer to review the first cookbook from pieminister. If you are going to indulge then it should be enjoyable. Have you ever ordered a cake¬† or desert as a treat, only to be disappointed by the lack of flavour? I have (but thankfully not very often). So if I’m going to make a pie who better to trust than Pieminister who have been baking and selling award winning pies since 2003. Their pies are sold at festivals, from their Pieminister cafes and in the best delis, farmers markets and pubs as well as nationwide mail order from their website & in some supermarkets nationwide.

Continue reading

Fishy fishy cookbook review & a giveaway

This competition is now closed.

I’ll be honest before I was approached to review this cookbook I’d never heard of Fishy Fishy brasserie. I have learnt it is a Brighton based restaurant opened up by Dermot O’Leary, James Ginzler and Paul Shovlin. They share a passion for fish but most importantly for locally source, in season and sustainable fish. In their first cookbook they share their passion for fish and their expertise in sourcing and preparing fish.

The book starts out by explaining the importance of eating fish when they are in season, explores different fishing methods and explains how to buy and prepare fish. As well as this information, I found the chart at the back of the book particularly useful for knowing which fish are in season when.The main body of the cookbook features over 90 recipes, most of which include a beautiful photograph of the dish to tempt you in to preparing the recipe. There are chapters on starters, barbecue & al fresco eating, everyday fish and shellfish, special occasions and finally a chapter on sauces, side dishes and desserts. The recipes appear simple to prepare and there is a wide variety of fish and seafood used as well as a variety of recipe styles. Everything from pasta & risotto, fish cakes, salads, fish cooked whole and simply cooked fish fillets are included.As a self-confessed fussy fish eater who’s fish cooking skills are somewhat lacking, I have to say I really like this book and look forward to cooking more recipes from it (I know, I’m shocked too). I really think this is a good fish cookbook for novice fish cookers. The recipes are straight forward yet inspiring, there is lots of information on how to buy and prepare different types of fish and the book is full of beautiful photography. In case you missed it, I posted a recipe from the book a few days back – Sticky mackerel, I loved this dish and will be making it again this month before mackerel goes out of season. Other recipes I hope to try include warm mackerel salad with rhubarb chutney, fishburgers, quick crab, chilli and basil linguini, Provencal-style mussels, whole roasted grey gurnard and baked plaice with garlic and thyme new potatoes.

If you’re considering buying this book and want a bit more of a preview why not download their free app from itunes. 10 of the recipes from the book are included as well as a few demonstration videos. The video on preparing crab made it look so straight forward I’m think of buying one to have a go myself!

Giveaway

I have one copy of this cookbook to giveaway to one of my readers. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a copy of this great cookbook is leave me a comment telling me your favorite way to cook fish. For a bonus entry please tweet about this giveaway using the button below and come back and leave me a comment to tell me you have done so.

The rules

This competition is only open to readers with a UK mailing address. The winner will be selected using an online randomiser and I will announce the winner in a post on this blog (and notify them by email) as soon as possible after the giveaway closes. Giveaway ends 7th September 2011, 7pm.

Please leave a separate comment for each different type of entry.

Please make sure when you leave a comment you include your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Thank you to New Holland publishers for my review copy and for sending one of my readers a copy too.

Cupcake apron giveaway

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.

The lovely people over at buy cute aprons have sent me an apron to review but not only that they have agreed to send one lucky reader their very own apron as well.

Buy cute aprons are a Scottish, family business, stocking a wide range of aprons. Gone are the days where aprons were purely functional. Buy cute aprons stock a wide range of functional yet stylish aprons. There really is something for everyone including some for men and children too.Find there website here and they also have a facebook page here.

I chose the fairy cake apron to giveaway here on my blog. It certainly fits the description of cute by my definition, very girly and great for anyone who loves cupcakes. It arrived this morning, beautifully packaged (and it looks every bit as good as the photo above from their website). The fabric is a really nice quality and it is fully lined. It’s a good fit for me and the ties are very long allowing it to fit different sizes.The tie round the waist is also long enough to tie at the front in a big bow.

The washing requirements though are hand wash in cold water only (I usually just throw my aprons in the washer) and hang dry. The only thing that concerns me is the labels says that the product may be flammable. Not a problem in my kitchen as my hob is electric. I was unsure though if this was just a necessary health and safety warning as the apron is 100% cotton so I can’t imagine how it would be any more flammable that my clothes say. Yes all fabric will burn but some how when I read warning flammable I am expecting it to burn quicker/more violently but perhaps that’s just me.

This apron is currently retailing on their webite at £24.95

The giveaway

If you would like a chance to win this super cute apron just leave me a comment below.

For bonus entries:

  1. Please visit my facebook page and like it, leave a comment here on the blog to tell me you have done so.
  2. Please tweet about this giveaway (or share on facebook) using the links below. Please leave me a comment to let me know you have done so.

The rules

This competition is only open to readers with a UK mailing address. The winner will be selected using an online randomiser and I will announce the winner in a post on this blog (and notify them by email) as soon as possible after the giveaway closes. Giveaway ends 3rd August 2011, 7pm.

Please leave a separate comment for each different type of entry.

Please make sure when you leave a comment you include your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Thank you to buy cute aprons for sending me an apron to review and one to giveaway. Also thank you to Jam and cream PR for organising this.